Before we get started it is important that you know what the word myofascial means. The word ‘myo’ means muscle and ‘fascia’ means band. Fascia is a strong but very flexible connective tissue which envelops every structure including the organs, muscles, tendons, and bones of the entire body providing support and protection. Therefore it is easy to see why the release of tension among those structures is very important and can keep you from getting injured.
The myofascia can get tears in them and if they don’t heal properly, the various layers of fascia can cause adhesions. These adhesions stop the muscles working as freely and easily as they should which can then cause pain and discomfort. Therefore it is extremely important that you use a foam roller to relieve some of the stress and tension that has built up in your body over time.
Some of the benefits to using a foam roller to release myofascial tension are easy to identify. The main benefit is that it will help release the adhesions but there are other benefits too such as it helps to disperse knots and tightness in your muscles. Its also a great way to prevent injury or further injury in your muscles. The foam roller will help with increasing the range of motion of your joints and relieve muscle soreness.
The foam roller can be used for self-myofascial release. By performing self-myofascial release techniques on a foam roller, you will be able to help release tight fascia and encourage the muscles to become fully functional again.
The release techniques on the foam roller involve rolling each muscle group over the foam roller until a tight or tender area is found. When the tight spot has been identified, pressure of your own body mass should be held on the area for 30-60 seconds until the muscle begins to release.
The following areas often have tight spots:
Piriformis – The piriformis muscle is a pear-shaped muscle located in the gluteal region. Begin by sitting on the foam roller, have one hand resting on the floor behind you for support. Cross one foot over the opposite knee and start to roll on the posterior hip area. The stretch can be increased by using your free hand to pull the knee toward the opposite shoulder.
Hamstrings – Place the hamstrings on the roller and use the hands behind you to keep the hips off the floor. Roll from the knee to the hip. Try turning the legs out from the hip and in from the hip to massage all the areas.
Rhomboids – The rhomboids are a skeletal muscle which helps to support the scapula. Place your upper back on the roller and cross the arms to the opposite shoulder. Engage the core muscles and lift the hips, keep the head in a neutral position. Roll the mid back area over the roller. You can also move gently to each side.
In conclusion the foam roller should be used to help with Myofascial release. Relieving the tension that you have built up over all the years you’ve been active is very important. Not only will you feel better during your workouts but you will be pain free after as well. Many people leave the gym without stretching and then wonder why they have so much pain the next day. Using the foam roller before and after your workouts and stress points is something that everyone should do. Foam rollers are not expensive, and if you are serious about wanting to release your myofascial tension you should think about acquiring one for your house as most gym already have them.